Detroit Lions name Darrell Bevell new offensive coordinator
Allen Park -- The Detroit Lions have found their offensive coordinator, announcing the hiring of Darrell Bevell on Wednesday.
Bevell most recently spent seven seasons as the offensive coordinator in Seattle (2011-17). He was fired from that role last January.
Pete Carroll was in his second season with Seattle when he hired Bevell to replace Jeremy Bates. Taking over one of the NFL's worst offenses, improvements weren't immediate. The unit continued to struggle in 2011, before taking off in 2012, following the selection of quarterback Russell Wilson in the draft.
For the next four seasons, the Seahawks ranked in the top 10 in scoring, while finishing with a top-three rushing attack three of those years.
The Seahawks made two Super Bowls during that stretch, beating the Denver Broncos, 43-8, in Super Bowl XLVIII and losing to the New England Patriots, 28-24, the following year in XLIX.
That loss to the Patriots included one of the most controversial offensive play calls in NFL history, when Bevell and the Seahawks opted to throw on second-and-goal from the 1-yard line in the final minute, instead of handing the ball off to star running back Marshawn Lynch.
The pass was intercepted by rookie cornerback Malcom Butler, sealing the Patriots' victory. Lions coach Matt Patricia, Bevell's new boss, was the Patriots' defensive coordinator for that game.
Following the abrupt retirement of Lynch after the 2015 season, Seattle struggled to maintain its effectiveness on offense, finishing 18th and 11th in scoring the next two seasons.
Bevell was let go following the 2017 season.
"That will translate to challenging our players to see things differently and in a new way," Carroll said about the shakeup a couple months later. "It felt like this was the right time, and the opportunity to get some guys that were available obviously made that an opportunity I couldn’t pass up."
Prior to Seattle, Bevell spent 11 seasons in the NFC North, first working as a quarterbacks coach in Green Bay from 2000-05 before moving on to become the Minnesota Vikings' offensive coordinator from 2006-10.
Packers quarterback Brett Favre was selected to three Pro Bowls during Bevell's time in Green Bay. Favre also threw a career-high 29 interceptions during Bevell's final season with the franchise.
Bevell and Favre reunited for two years in Minnesota, including the Vikings' 12-4 campaign in 2009. The team ranked fifth in total offense and second in scoring that season, before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints in the NFC championship.
A college quarterback, Bevell played for Wisconsin from 1992-95. After eight consecutive losing seasons for the program, Bevell led the team to a 10-1-1 mark and a Rose Bowl victory during the 1993 season, completing 67.8 percent of his throws for 2,390 yards, 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Bevell replaces Jim Bob Cooter in Detroit, who parted ways with the Lions following the expiration of his contract at the end of the season.
Darrell Bevell coaching stops
1996: Westmar University – Pass game coordinator and quarterbacks coach
1997: Iowa State – Graduate assistant
1998-99: Connecticut – Receivers coach
2000-02: Green Bay Packers – Assistant quarterbacks coach
2003-05: Green Bay Packers – Quarterbacks coach
2006-10: Minnesota Vikings – Offensive coordinator
2011-17: Seattle Seahawks – Offensive coordinator